Answer to Question #181774 in Political Science for justin

Question #181774

Discuss the African Union’s efforts to end unconstitutional changes of government in Africa. In your essay you must argue whether or not the African Union is succeeding in this undertaking.

Expert's answer

In the past three decades, there have been unconstitutional changes in Africa, which have had implications for consolidating democracy on the continent. Such changes are evident in the military coups in Mauritania and Guinea in 2008, Madagascar in 2009, and most recently in Niger in February 2010. This trend in the face of sub-regional and pan-African norms proclaiming zero-tolerance for unconstitutional government changes poses a significant challenge to the democratic project in Africa.

The resurgence of coups in Africa prompted the African Union (AU) in the Declaration on the framework to redefine the whole concept of unconstitutional government changes, which included, firstly, framework deterring a military coup d’état against a democratically elected government. Secondly, mercenaries' intervention to replace a democratically elected government and thirdly, replacement of a democratically elected government by armed dissident groups and rebel movements. Fourthly, the refusal by an incumbent government to relinquish power to the winning party after free, fair, and regular elections, and lastly, any amendment or revision of the constitution or legal instruments is an infringement on the Principles of democratic change of government.

In my opinion, AU has done very little about preventing unconstitutional changes in Africa. Several African Presidents have occasionally amended the constitution to extend their stay in office. Some of them include; Guinean President Alpha Conde 2020, Comoros President Azali Assoumani 2018, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda in 2015, Denis Sassou Nguesso of the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) in 2015, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe in 2013, and President Ismael Omar Guelleh of Djibouti in 2010, among other many. The events have taken place in the eyes of AU and have done nothing completely. 

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